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USMEF CEO: there’s an urgency with US-Japan trade negotiations

The US Trade Representative’s office begins its public hearing today in preparation for upcoming trade agreement negotiations with Japan.

US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) president and CEO Dan Halstrom says Japan is the largest trading partner for the US for beef and pork.  “It’s not only our largest value market, it’s also one of the largest profit margin markets,” he says.  “We’re very conscious of the fact that our competitors have the CPTPP agreement and of course the EU/Japan agreement which will dramatically increase their competitiveness over the next several years.”

He says getting an agreement in place is essential to keeping US beef and pork competitive in Japan.  “Countries like Australia on the beef side, which has about an 11 percent inbound duty over us is becoming more competitive,” he says.  “On the pork side – you’re looking at the EU and Canada becoming more competitive.”

Currently there is a 20 percent tariff on pork imports from all countries, but in a few months, the tariff for Canada and the EU drops to 14 percent and then after 5 years, it drops to zero.

Exports of US beef and pork to Japan combined are valued at more than 3.5-billion-dollars per year.

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